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Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation harnesses the power of your mind to reduce the discomfort and pain associated with muscle tension. The technique is also known as PMR and progressive relaxation. Originally developed in the early 20th century, this relaxation technique is widely used in the fitness industry and various healthcare settings.

During the session, you relax and concentrate on your breathing. The next step is to alternatively tense and relax the muscles of your arms, chest, neck, shoulders, back and legs in a sequential order. The technique relieves the underlying anxiety and stress that increase your pain and overall body discomfort.

Progressive muscle relaxation combines physical movements and mental focusing techniques that are comparable to meditation. Closing your eyes can reduce distractions and increase your concentration. Some people prefer to observe a fixed point located within the room. You will progressively work your way through the various muscle groups of your body. The goal is to alternatively tense and relax each group of muscles for a period of 4 to 10 seconds. Concentrate on the sensation that you experience when you relax your muscles.

How Does Progressive Muscle Relaxation Help Back Pain?

While there several conditions that can cause back pain, the condition can also lead to other health issues. The most common problems are sleeping disorders, depression and emotional distress. Progressive relaxation is a holistic technique that can reduce or eliminate the stress and anxiety that occurs due to back pain.

Muscle tension is a normal physical reaction to painful conditions. Progressive relaxation reverses the tightness and releases the tension if you perform the technique correctly. This mind-body technique alleviates your back pain and improves your overall sense of wellbeing by relaxing your lower back muscles.

Who Can This Technique Help?

Progressive muscle relaxation can provide significant benefits for patients who suffer from chronic back pain. Persistent pain often leads to muscle tension, which in turn makes it difficult to relax and control pain. Progressive relaxation techniques can relieve the tension that intensifies your discomfort and pain.

Similar to other meditation techniques, the mental exercises during progressive muscle relaxation can stop the destructive “fight or flight” response to stress. The technique increases your energy level, reduces your blood pressure and the risk for developing stress-related conditions, such as insomnia, ulcers, heart disease, depression and anxiety.

Progressive muscle relaxation techniques can be part of an overall treatment plan. It can provide back pain relief when combined with medication and other forms of relaxation. In addition to upper and lower back pain, the technique can also relieve joint pain and headaches. Speak with your doctor to learn more about progressive muscle relaxation. Your doctor can determine whether this treatment can control your back pain.